Resources of the partner: Support or restriction in the occupational career? Developments in the Netherlands between 1940 and 2003
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SourceEuropean Sociological Review, 24, 1, (2008), pp. 81-95
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
European Sociological Review
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
This study investigates the role of the partner in career mobility in The Netherlands from the 1940s to the present. Mobility has been defined as upward and downward moves in occupational status. First, we hypothesize that having a partner restricts the labour market career of women, whereas it supports labour market advancement of men. Second, we formulate opposing hypotheses about the effect of partners’ resources; social capital notions predict positive partner effects, whereas economic theory predicts negative partner effects. Third, we propose trend hypotheses; the process of individualization makes us predict declines in partner effects, but the processes of cultural and economic modernization lead us to hypothesize a shift from negative to positive partner effects on female career mobility. We use event history analysis techniques covering the complete labour market careers of 5,068 respondents and their partners (Family Survey Dutch Population 1998–2003). We find no evidence for the idea that having a partner has an effect on career mobility of women, and we find a small positive effect on men's mobility. Labour market resources of the partner positively affect upward career moves, whereas they negatively affect downward career moves for both men and women. The data provide no evidence for historical developments in the influence of the partner on individual career mobility.
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